RSAC Fireside Chat: Secure, flexible web browsers finally available, thanks to open-source code

By Byron V. Acohido

SAN FRANCISCO — At the end of 2000, I was hired by USA Today to cover Microsoft, which at the time was being prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice.

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Microsoft had used illegal monopolistic practices to crush Netscape Navigator thereby elevating Internet Explorer (IE) to become far and away the No. 1 web browser.

IE’s reign proved to be fleeting. Today Google’s Chrome browser —  based on the open-source code  Chromium — reigns supreme.

I bring all this up, because in 2019 Microsoft ditched its clunky browser source code and launched its Edge browser, based on open-source Chromium. And this opened the door to a great leap forward in web browser security: enterprise browsers.

As RSAC 2024 gets ready to open next week, the practicality of embedding advanced security tools in company-sanctioned web browsers is in the spotlight. I had a wide-ranging discussion about this with Uy Huynh, vice president of solutions engineering at Island, a leading supplier of enterprise browsers. For a full drill down, please give the accompanying podcast a listen.

As an open-source project, Chromium promotes web standards compliance, ensuring that web developers can create content that works consistently across different browsers. Island has seized the opportunity to innovate browser security features that enable companies to reduce their reliance on VDI environments and shrink their SaaS authentication sprawl, Huynh told me

Enterprise browsers could emerge as a key component of the evolving network security platforms that will carry us forward. I’ll keep watch and keep reporting.


Pulitzer Prize-winning business journalist Byron V. Acohido is dedicated to fostering public awareness about how to make the Internet as private and secure as it ought to be.

(LW provides consulting services to the vendors we cover.)

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